by William Larson | 12:30 pm

If you fancy yourself as a major gearhead, you might want to check out your local junkyard. These veritable treasure troves are filled to bursting with cheap finds and bargain bits. There’s no telling what you might pick up for your beloved motor, so get down there and get hunting. If you want to know how to find cheap car parts, this is a great place to start.

Sure, you can play it safe and skip the adventure by shopping at an official parts store, but where’s the fun in that? You’ll just miss out on the chance to pick up unique parts, at knockdown prices. While the junkyard isn’t as much of a certainty as a parts dealer – you can’t, for example, be sure about what you’ll find – if you do track down the products that you need, they’ll be yours for a modest fee.

These handy hints and tips will give you some advice on how to find cheap car parts in your local junkyard.

Know Your Junkyard

There are two types of automotive junkyard in North America. They are the ‘you pick’ and the ‘full service.’ The difference between the two is that the latter involves no work. You tour the yard, select the parts that you want, and a mechanic or technician will get them ready for you to take home. On the other hand, a ‘you pick’ yard invites visitors to remove the parts that they want with their own tools. If you want to save even more cash, this is the best way to go.

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Don’t Be Intimidated

There’s a kind of mystique about junkyards; a faux sensation of danger, probably because so many coming of age movies feature kids getting into trouble in these locations. In reality, they’re not dangerous at all if you behave sensibly and don’t try to remove anything without first having the right skills and know how. You can ask the site managers for information on where to find certain parts, as usually there is a rough layout. For instance, you’ll often find rarer, older vehicles towards the back of the yard.

Keep an Open, Curious Mind

The junkyard is such an amazing place, because you don’t really know what you’re going to pick up. If you want to learn how to find cheap car parts, you need to keep your eyes open and be willing to learn about the things that you see. Sure, cylinder heads, glass body panels, and handles are valuable, but so are more custom items like computer boxes and online airbag modules. Be on the lookout not just for parts that you can recycle, but also things that you can sell on and make a bit of profit from.

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Have the Right Tools

If you’re heading off to a ‘you pick’ yard, you’ll need to carry some important tools. On the other hand, you don’t want to be lugging anything too heavy and cumbersome around. Generally, the essentials are a short pry bar, a ratchet set, a hammer, a pair of pliers, a pair of tin snips, a hacksaw, Allen wrenches, a screwdriver set, and some strong safety gloves. It is also a good idea to keep a long pry bar and a socket set in the boot of the car.

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